The fifty eighth meeting of the Panel of External Auditors, chaired by Mussa Juma Assad, Controller and Auditor General of the United Republic of Tanzania, was held on 30 November and 1 December at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome. The Panel consists of Auditors General of 11 Supreme Audit Institutions who are either elected or selected to conduct the external audit of the United Nations Secretariat, funds and programmes and specialized agencies. This also includes two observers who remain on the Panel, for a period of three years after they rotate off the Panel. The meeting was attended by Auditors General or their representatives from the United Republic of Tanzania, France, India, Germany, Italy, Ghana, Philippines, Switzerland, Indonesia, Canada and United Kingdom.
External auditors are independent of the United Nations and conduct the audits on the financial statements and managerial and performance audits. The main objectives of the Panel are to further the coordination of the audits for which its members are responsible and to exchange information on audit methods and findings. The Panel's Technical Group also met from 27 to 29 November to discuss technical matters and prepare the discussions for their Principals on 30 November and 1 December.
The Panel discussed matters such as the relationship between External Auditors and the Governing Bodies of International Organizations audited by them. Other matters discussed were important developments in International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) and new reporting standards in international standards on auditing as well as the auditing the preparedness of the United Nations and its agencies in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Panel also met with Laurent Thomas, Deputy Director General of Operations, FAO and Amir Abdulla, Deputy Executive Director, the World Food Programme (WFP) to discuss programme challenges faced by FAO and WFP in implementing their mandates.
Both meetings were held in paperless mode supported by the PaperSmart team of the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management in New York.
Source: United Nations